Twitter exploded Tuesday with Rebekah Brooks horse lending scandal jokes and reactions as the world responded to the news that the former New of the World chief executive was loaned a retired police horse by Scotland Yard.
As Brits try to wrap their head around exactly what the Metropolitan Police were doing letting Brooks borrow a steed, they're not waiting even a second to poke fun at the whole strange scenario.
Quick recap: Scotland Yard lent Brooks a horse in 2008, just one year after Clive Goodman, her royal editor at News of the World, was thrown in jail for phone-hacking, the Telegraph reported Tuesday.
Apparently the horse Brooks borrowed was one of only 12 such horses that Scotland Yard loaned to people that year. But a Metropolitan Police spokesman claims that it routinely lends retired horses out to members of the public, according to the Telegraph.
Brooks, a devoted horse rider who the Mirror reports is out on bail after being arrested and questioned extensively by detectives last year in relation to suspected corruption and phone hacking, kept the horse for two years at her home in the Cotswolds, where she lives with her husband, former racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks.
And now the whole situation is fodder for the tabloids and quick-witted Twitter users.
The Mirror dubbed the Rebekah Brooks horse scandal #Horsegate, and a Twitter account has already been set up by some entrepreneurial soul: @RebekahsHorse, which offers hilarious tweets like Someone has started a rumour that I'm dead. Now I know Ive made it on Twitter. #horsegate.
According to the Telegraph, the horse died of natural causes sometime after she gave it back to the Met in 2010, but that's not stopping the horse's Twitter account from gaining popularity; it already has 1,600 followers.
The Poke made a hilarious faux movie poster making fun of the scandal, dubbing the would-be film Poor Horse.
And hundreds of Twitter users offered their own takes on the Rebekah Brooks horse scandal, including@bbcHIGNFY, who tweeted the following on Tuesday: Scotland Yard loaned Rebekah Brooks a police horse for a year, before the mare was finally put out to pasture. As for the horse, who knows?
Twitterer @Simon Worrall took a harder approach, tweeting the following Tuesday: In retrospect, I think the horse would have preferred the knacker's yard over being ridden hard and put up dry by Rebekah Brooks #Horsegate.
And @bbcHIGFNY was on a roll Tuesday, killing it again with his Tweet that the front of today's Sun proves strangely prescient and linked to the tabloid's cover, which ran the headline taking us for a ride, in relation to another story.
Twitter user @RuariOToole expressed the weird sense of shock Britain is feeling as it learns of the Rebekah Brooks horse lending scandal today by tweeting the following: I had a four hour nap and when I woke up the police had lent Rebekah Brooks a horse. What.
The revelations about the Rebekah Brooks horse lending scandal raise new flags about how close Brooks and the Met really are. On Monday, an inquiry revealed that a senior Met officer discussed the original phone-hacking probe with her, even going so far as to touch on how far she thought the investigation should go, the Telegraph wrote.
The horse apparently went to live with a police officer in Norfolk after Brooks gave it up, the Telegraph said, and it has since died of natural causes.
It's well known by people in the horse world that the Met looks for homes for horses once they retire, Dave Wilson, Mrs Brooks's spokesman, told the newspaper. Rebekah took on a horse and effectively acted as a foster parent for it for a year or so ... The Met horse team comes out to make sure your facilities are right and proper. It's just a way of giving a temporary home to a horse that has had a distinguished service in the Met. It went off to a retirement paddock in Norfolk once it couldn't be ridden any more.
Wilson went on to explain to the Mirror that taking on the horse is just a charitable thing Rebekah did, as she paid for its food, lodging and other expenses. Scotland Yard refused to tell the Mirror what the horse's name was.
In 2008, when Brooks accepted the horse, she had already testified five years prior that the News of the World paid policemen while she was its editor between 2003 and 2008, the paper wrote, adding that she was heading up News International by the time she relinquished the horse back to the Met, which was under pressure to look again at the phone-hacking scandal.